Spy Hard Movie Review

Ugh. This is one of those reviews where I don't really know how to begin. Suffice it to say that I should have listened to all the friends of mine who refused to go see Spy Hard with me, saying that it wasn't their style, that star Leslie Nielsen had lost his comedic sense, or that the movie just plain looked bad.

They were all right.

Spy Hard is the most recent in Nielsen's franchise of spoof films, parodying the Bond genre and about a dozen other movies along the way, including In the Line of Fire, Cliffhanger, Speed, True Lies, Pulp Fiction, and even Sister Act and Home Alone. I won't bother recounting the negligible plotline, except to say that it involves two good guys (Nielsen as Dick Steele, "Agent WD-40," and Nicollette Sheridan as Veronique Ukrinsky, "Agent 3.14") and one bad guy (a masterfully cast Andy Griffith).

Here is what's funny about Spy Hard: "Weird Al" Yankovic's opening credit sequence and Andy Griffith's presence during his eight or so lines of dialogue.

What's not funny? Everything else.

Basically because the writers (and there were four of them) chose to play for cheap laughs instead of extended humor value, the film fails like a linebacker in a calculus exam. Director Rick Friedberg has absolutely no sense of comedic timing, and even the editing works against the film to lessen the impact of the jokes. It's almost an exercise in how to do everything wrong.

The best spy spoof out there is Top Secret!, Val Kilmer's homage to the war/Elvis movie and true laugh-a-minute material. Trust me, it's simply much better for you.


Spy Hard Rating

" Terrible "

Rating: PG-13, 1996


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